With EA Navigator version you can now navigate from and to composite diagrams of an element.

Recently I’ve been working a lot with BPMN models. BPMN models make extensive use of the composite diagram mechanism in EA to drill-down on the processes and sub-processes.

In a classical UML model we usually place the composite diagram under the element, in which case finding the composite diagram, or finding the element(s) that have a diagram as composite diagram, is trivial. They are at the same location in the project browser.… Read more

How can I find out where an element or one of its specialized elements is used on a diagram in Enteprise Architect?

With this SQL search you can answer that question immediately and in a useful way.

Hierarchical usage search regults

Free download

 The model

Suppose we have modeled an inheritance hierarchy of animals as such

Animals Hierarchy

And our animals are being used as the classifier of Activity partitions in various Activity diagrams



And on the occasional Sequence diagram


Even with a simple example like this one it is not trivial to find all diagrams that use a rodent, or a bird.… Read more

One of the major benefits of using a tool such as Enterprise Architect is that you create traceability. You store the relations between different model elements in your model.

The tricky part is to effectively use that traceability for your impact analyses. Following these instructions you can create SQL Searches in EA that instantly show the impact a certain element has on the rest of the model and present them in a clear and useful way.


The meta model

In order to do impact analysis you have to know, and preferable document, your meta model.… Read more

The main new feature of the version 2.4 of the EA Navigator is the Quicksearch. The Quicksearch feature is undoubtedly the fastest way to find anything in a (large) EA model. It is the type of feature which makes you wonder how you could live without it all that time before.

Developing the Quicksearch function was far from easy. I wanted something that resembles what Google does when you start typing, and I started things with a standard Windows Forms ComboBox.… Read more


Don’t use Activities on an Activity Diagram


Model useful and UML compliant Activity Diagrams


UML Activity Diagrams are often used to depict a certain flow of events. One of the reasons Activity Diagrams are so popular is because they are very similar to flow charts, something all of us know from long before UML even existed.

So lots of people start out enthusiastically to draw Activity Diagrams.

Lets say that we are modelling the checkout at a cash register of a store.… Read more

The focus of version 2.3 of the EA Navigator is usability.

As a user myself I’m in a good position to evaluate the user-experience of the tool, and I felt the EA Navigator was coming short on that aspect. So I decided to do something about that.

One of the most important improvements, and also the most difficult one, is the switch to background processing.

With all the new features in the latest version I (and other users too) noticed that the EA Navigator was seriously slowing down EA itself.… Read more

Since the release of version 2.1 the EA Navigator has been quite stable. Not much need for major improvements or bugfixes.

So version 2.2 has been about little changes and updates.

The most remarkable new feature is the new context menu with the ability to open the properties dialog of an element. Not remarkable because of the feature itself, but because of the loops and holes I had to jump through to get that part working. Opening the properties dialog is not really a supported API function of EA, so I had to resort to using an undocumented CustomCommand function to hack my way into it.… Read more

Following these 5 rules will make your UML diagrams easier to understand, cleaner, and more consistent.

Although that has no effect on the actual model, it will improve the communication with the stakeholders.

Rule 1: Less is more

Large diagrams containing heaps of elements actually convey less information then small focussed diagrams.
When reading such a large diagram your audience will not know what to focus on, and since there’s too much on there to actually pay attention to all elements, they will quickly give up trying altogether.… Read more

I’m proud to announce that the EA Navigator has made the “official” Sparx Systems 3rd party add-in list.

Sparx Systems doesn’t just publish any add-in for Enterprise Architect. Each add-in on the list has been demonstrated to the the people of Sparx, and only if they approve it it will be added to the list.

So a couple of week ago I had an appointment to do a web conference with Sparx to do a little demo of my add-in.… Read more

Since I upgraded to a Windows 7 machine I had a problem seeing which element was selected in my Enterprise Architect project browser.

Not when it was selected and active (dark-blue), but when I went on to work on something in a diagram.

The standard “inactive selection color” of Windows 7 is just too faint.

To illustrate that, look at the picture on the left and try to figure out which element is actually selected.

Well, if you look really carefully you’ll notice that the background of “Primitive1” is actually just the slightest bit darker then the rest of the background.… Read more